3:1 CD Review: The Call is Still the Same (Dixie Melody Boys)

3:1 Reviews offer three highlights of an album and one area that could have been improved.

1. “The Call is Still the Same”: The title cut is an autobiographical look at the challenges and blessing of a life spent following Christ. Tenor Matt Felts anchors the song, the best anthem the group has recorded in a decade. Dixie Melody Boys alumnus Rodney Griffin, who co-wrote the song with Wayne Haun, offers a guest vocal on the second verse.

2. Guest Vocalists: Song Garden lined up a number of Dixie Melody Boys alumni for guest appearances to commemorate the group’s fiftieth anniversary—Ernie Haase, Devin McGlamery, Allen O’Neal, Harold Reed, McCray Dove, and Kent Humphrey—and additional guest vocals from Jason Crabb and Ben Speer. It is a fitting salute to Ed O’Neal, who has made a career out of launching others’ careers.

3. “I’ve Got Family There”: Ed O’Neal’s solo on this mellow song about Heaven is an album highlight. Ben Speer’s guest harmony vocals are a pleasant bonus.

:1. One thing I would change: Nothing, really: A few more incredible songs would have made this a five-star project, but even as it is, it’s the best mainline project the Dixie Melody Boys have released in fifteen years.

Traditional or Progressive: Middle-of-the-road, with some country influences

Radio Single Picks: “The Call is Still the Same,” “Jesus in My Boat,” “I’ve Got Family There”

Album Rating: 4.5 Stars

Credits: Producer: David Staton. • Group members: Matt Felts (tenor), Donald Morris (lead), Steven Cooper (baritone), Ed O’Neal (bass). • Review copy provided.

Song list: Jesus in my Boat (with Ernie Haase and Devin McGlamery); Bottom of the Basket; Too Much Thunder (with Allen O’Neal, Harold Reed, McCray Dove); His Blood Alone; There’s Joy in Serving Jesus; God Will Hear Your Prayer (with Jason Crabb); Good Ole Boys (with Kent Humphrey); That’s Why I Sing Gospel Music; Go To The Well; The Call is Still the Same (with Rodney Griffin); Gotta Get the Good News Out; I’ve Got Family There (with Ben Speer).

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12 Letters to the Editor

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  1. Comment

  2. We have sung with the DMB the last 2 mornings for Dave Edwards Breakfast Club in FL. Thu have aounded really good and the new songs are a good fit for them. Good guys.

  3. I really enjoyed the album, although I could have lived without a few of the guest vocalist. First, Ernie wasnt there long enough to warrant an appearance, most people have no idea he was even a DMB.. and Jasons appearance made no sense at all.. I do however think Ben Speers guest appearance gave heart and warmth to Eds song, given his rich history and age. Songs could have been a little more traditional at points, but overall it turned out great! Family Here would be a great single for them! Its true Ed Oneal and the DMB!

    • Sure, Ernie was not there long. However, he is probably the best known of any EOU alumnus, with best-known being measured by the fairly neutral (though hard-to-pinpoint) metric of being on the most total units sold.

  4. I love this album. As far as Ernie, if you know the story of how Ed continued to influence Ernie long after he left, you would see why it is perfect. Same goes with Jason Crabb. Ed has been great to him for years. Ed loves Jason dearly. It showed how the groups impact is larger than just with its former members. Its the best album they’ve done. Their sound is great. Matt Felts has a bug impact on them both as a singet and wuth his business background. Im looking forward to the future. Keep it ip Ed

    • I assume you mean big impact? 🙂

  5. I agree. I haven’t heard the whole album, but I did hear what was played on the Gospel Great recently. Best effort in a long time from the DMB. It was really very well done.

  6. Very true, I guess Ernie would be the most recognizable, I guess my point was…if they hadnt been told, noone would know he was there, whereas, names like McCray Dove, Harold Reed, Devin McGlamery and Rodney Griffin are recognizable and identifiable with the DMB! Ernie to me, I guess, is much more identified with The Cathedrals! But on Eds part, I see the publicity of pushing Ernies name! As for Jason, yes, I know that Ed loves and encourages him, and 1000 others of us! We all love Jason Crabb, and his music, guess I didnt understand him with the guest vocals of past DMB, thats all! Its alot of publicity, which is what we all pretty much make a living on! It was still a GREAT album by a HUGE legend in Sg music! Hoping his current group will keep longevity with him.. They can flat out sing:)

  7. I thought the album was great! Their best in a looooong time. The Jason Crabb connection comes from Jason always hanging around Ed when he was just a kid. Kinda the father/son thing.

    There is one thing I’d add. Another solo by Ed! The guy’s a legend and he only gets one song? Crazy. “That’s Why I Sing Gospel Music” had to be written with someone like Ed in mind. And then they gave the solo to Matt. Didn’t get that at all. Other than this little issue, the album was a really good one. Even featured it on one of my videos.

  8. Chris, I couldn’t agree more with you that Ed should have more songs. Good luck getting him to do that on the next one. We had to fight him to record the one he did. If you go back and look at all the old albums, he has always done that. Ed loves to push his boys out front. He has zero ego. Class act. Glad you liked it overall. It was a real honor to be a part of this album.

    • That is fascinating!

    • Matt, from what I’ve hread, you guys have a good album.